How Does Dickens Convey His Moral Message In a Christmas Carol?

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‘Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as a flint , from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire ; secret and self contained , and solitary as an oyster’

Charles Dickens coveys his moral message in ‘a christmas carol’ by raising awareness of the poor and peoples perceptions of the poor in the Victorian times.

Most of his literary works concerned the poor and how they lived. Another of his famous novels was ‘Oliver Twist’ about an orphaned boy. He wrote about this issue because he had experienced abject poverty himself. When he was only nine, his father, mother, and his seven brothers and sisters were sent to debtor’s prison. This left Dickens out in the cold as a child labourer. After his family were released, Charles Dickens was fortunate enough to go back into education and became a law clerk. He then wrote these novels to describe the desperate poverty in society and raise people’s awareness.

Throughout his life, Charles Dickens was a philanthropist, doing many good deeds for his community. He was going to bring the poverty issue to the attention of his readers by producing a campaign leaflet but then realised that more people could relate to a story and more people would read what he has to say.

‘A christmas carol’ is an allegory. He is saying that people, who live a greedy senseless life, will suffer themselves in the future. If we live our life doing good deeds and generally getting into the spirit of seasons then we will be rewarded in life and the after life.

The main character in ‘a christmas carol’ is Scrooge. At the start of the story, he is described as a ‘covetous old sinner’ and his famous words ‘bah, humbug!’ describes his opinion of Christmas. In his school days, he was very serious and was more interested in his education than Christmas. Later in his life he had a fiancée and he used to enjoy the festivities. Money then took over his life and he has rejected everyone ever since and because of this, even though he is financially richer, his life is much poorer.

Scrooge, throughout the story, is visited by three ghosts. One of the christmas ‘past’ , one of the christmas ‘present’ and one of the christmas ‘yet to come’. The ghost of the Christmas ‘past’ represents his memory and makes Scrooge reminisce about his life as a child and what Christmas was like for him then.

‘The school is not quite deserted, a solitary child, neglected by his friends, is left there still’

This child, of course is Scrooge. He cared more about his education than Christmas. His friends, if he had any, had left him to look a sad sight on his own. This image made Scrooge think about what he had missed out on in his childhood. He had rejected the opportunity for fun or any friends and he felt bad about it. Even having thinking this through, he still needed more evidence for him to change his frame of mind.

The next ghost to visit the misguided Scrooge was the ghost of the Christmas ‘present’. This ghost represented charity and showed Scrooge how giving to other people can be a fun part of Christmas. He took Scrooge to various parties which included his old employer’s party, Fezziwig,  his nephews party, Fred , and the Christmas dinner of Bob Cratchit and his family, who, in the sense of that time, were very poor because of the ridiculous wages given by Scrooge in his office. At his nephew’s party, they were playing a game of ‘yes and no’ where they ridiculed Scrooge;

‘ the brisk fire of questioning to which Fred was exposed, elicited from him that he was thinking of and animal, a live animal, rather a disagreeable animal, a savage animal, an animal that growled and grunted sometimes and talked sometimes….. What is it? Cried Fred. It’s your Uncle Scrooge!!!!!’

This made Scrooge feel very upset inside that his nephew thought of him this way. At Bob Cratchits house, Bob proposed a toast to Scrooge and his wife was very reluctant to do it. He also saw Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchits son, who was very ill and as the family was so poor, they could not afford to help him. This also made Scrooge hurt inside and for the first time, Scrooge decided to change his ways. The ghost of Christmas ‘present’ shows Scrooge how to celebrate Christmas , but he still needed a small amount of help, and that’s where the ghost of Christmas ‘yet to come’ came in….

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The ghost of Christmas future was in the shape of the grim reaper and the ghost that Scrooge feared the most. He represents death and Scrooges fear of it. He shows Scrooge what impact his death has on the community. They are celebrating. This scares Scrooge as he didn’t realise how much people hated him.

‘Spirit, he said, this is a fearful place. In leaving it, I shall not leave its lesson trust me, let us go!’

Undoubtedly, the turning point for Scrooge though, was when he saw the empty chair and crutch that was once Tiny ...

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